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Offspring by J V Birch

today's poem vertical

Offspring

I carry my loss with me most days now and it’s
surprisingly heavy, considering it’s the absence
of something. It turned up not long after you
went, like it didn’t want to meet you, although
I suspect it had been there a while getting
ready for the answering-back phase. I used
to keep it at home with the curtains drawn
until a well-meaning neighbour said this was
simply not healthy, that I must allow it to do
what it wants, but I was worried there’d be a
scene. She convinced me though and I took it
to her Friday night group where it sat quiet and
bright, annoyingly so, waiting for me to break.
But that had been a good day and I held out
until we got home where we had words over a
bottle of red. So now it’s in my handbag messing
with my make-up and laughing at my diary. But
even this has its risks when I tried to pay with it
the other day, certain I’d seen your eyes in
someone else’s, failing to notice the god-awful
sound and the look on the poor girl serving me.

.

J V Birch lives in Adelaide. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines across Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She has two collections – Smashed glass at Midnight and What the water & moon gave me – published by Ginninderra Press, and is currently working on her third. She blogs at www.jvbirch.com

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3 thoughts on “Offspring by J V Birch”

  1. So good to see this – one of my favourite poets who never fails to make me wish I had thought of writing like that. Thanks for this – Julie and Abegail. I particularly love these lines that lead up to a stunning ending

    So now it’s in my handbag messing
    with my make-up and laughing at my diary.

    It says such a lot. Great stuff.

  2. I like how what’s established in the poem is a space the reader can enter into too, although that space shimmers with abandonment and mirage

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